March 8 is International Women's Day. Throughout the month of March, a.k.a. Women's History Month, we celebrate the achievements of women that have gone before us.
But at Girls With Ideas, we are focused on one thing and one thing only:
Fostering a future filled with confident, creative girl leaders.
I met a new friend tonight. With white hair and fragile fingers, she spoke with the energy of a young girl, but was well into her old age. I listened for hours as she shared stories about her long life: her adventures, her achievements, and even her disappointments. Through it all, she was jubilant, passionate and very, very kind.
When she asked me what I did for a living, I told her about Girls With Ideas. She sat straight up and made a fist in the air: "You know, girls need that! They need someone to help them be more confident. Girls just don't believe in themselves!"
...you know, she's right.
In our research, one of the most poignant statistics we've read is this:
A girl's confidence peaks at age 9.
Whenever I think about this fact, I imagine the girls with ideas we've met along the way. Then my mind flashes to the images and events that can and likely will happen in her life that'll cause her to doubt herself.
A screen filled with one 'ideal' body type
A kid at school calling her ugly
Not getting "enough" likes on social media
The first time she's catcalled, groped, or worse
Being told by someone she loves that she's not good enough
Here's the thing: at Girls With Ideas, we believe – no, we KNOW – that confidence and creativity are SKILLS THAT CAN BE TAUGHT.
This isn't just the research talking, though we've done plenty of that. This is our lifeblood.
We know that we can help you help girls become the confident, creative leaders they're meant to be by doubling down into their leadership strengths, teaching them creative thinking skills, and giving them the tools to manage their own projects through to completion.
We believe in trying, doing, and even in failing. Why? Because the only way she'll ever learn is if she tries.
This International Women's Day, let's celebrate the girls to come: let's talk about the Idea Girls that are making a difference in their communities. Let's cheer for the girls with ideas who are changing the world before our very eyes. Let's pat ourselves on the back for a year of women coming together in ways we never expected, but always needed.
As I hugged my new friend farewell this evening, I wished her a happy International Women's Day. She smiled and said the same, but with one request: "Just keep doing what you're doing. Make it count. Our girls need it."
...right again, friend. We all need to make it count.
Our girls need us.